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Old December 10th, 2003, 10:47 PM   #16
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I just configured my new FireVue External S*M*A*R*T IEEE1394a devise with a Western Union 120 GB HD (7,200 rpm; ATA100). What's interesting about this particular device is that it has its own LED read out of how the HD drive is doing, like how many MB's/sec it's running, etc.

Trust me, I'm no expert about any of this stuff. . . but I did read the manual before putting everything together! :D

So. . . . for giggles I put an avi file on the the new firewire based HD and let Vegas play it back. No effects were added. According to the FireVue's LED read out (and assuming that it was accurate), I was getting between 18 to 20 MB's/sec. with no effects.

When I ran a full video project complete with basic audio and video effects (nothing too fancy), the FireVue's LED was indicating that about 5 to 6 MB's/sec of digital information was flowing from the hard disk drive.

I guess my poor, aging Pentium III 733 mhz Dell Workstation has lots of "bottle neck" areas to slow down the video editing process.

But. . . I'm happy. At least for now, I have what appears to be a dependable firewire drive again for my audio/video projects! And it even lets me know just how slow my computer can get! (chuckle!)

With regards to a Firewire 800 device (IEEE1394b). My aging computer's PCI slots would not utilize such a device to its fullest potential. I guess the makers of the Firewire 800 devices recommend a 64-bit/33 mhz PCI slot in order to get the best performance. My computer only has 32-bit/33mhz PCI slots.

Oh!!! Having a newer, faster computer that can fully utilize a Firewire 800 device housing an ATA-133, 7,200 rpm to use with my Vegas software would be very, very sweet! Such a device should make Vegas all the more funner to use! And just in case you didn't know, Vegas 4 is one of my prized software programs!! ;)


Ted
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Old December 11th, 2003, 05:00 AM   #17
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I doubt the increase would be that significant without a striped
RAID set or a SCSI drive. But that ofcourse can only be proven
by tests.

As you pointed out the CPU is primarely the bottle neck here
since it has to do all the work. I think most harddisks can transfer
the footage faster then the NLE can handle because it has to do
a lot of things.

DV is 3.6 MB/s. So even with a 20 MB/s (and I am talking sustained
here which is a very different thing then max throughput!) you
should be able to have 5 streams (or perhaps 4 with taking
extra overhead into account). So I'm still not seeing what you
would want such a fast harddisk for normal DV work.

Now if you are using uncompressed footage somewhere in
your process etc. then it will be a different ballgame all together.
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Old December 11th, 2003, 05:08 AM   #18
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I'm learning as I go, Rob. A RAID set up, right now, seems very foreign to me. I don't even know how it works or what its benefit would be.

BUT! I'm willing to learn! ;)

Financially, I'm little away from purchasing my next computer system. When that time comes, I will consider a RAID set up. Financially, for an even longer while, I'm "stuck" in the DV world. And for me, it is a happy world to be.

Guess I have more reading/research to do. :)

Until then. . . I'm happily using my current system which, up until recently, was doing just fine for me. ;)

Thanks for the information, Rob. I learn so much here! :)

And now that my current IEEE1394 problem is solved with a new unit. . . it's back to my projects! :)

Ted
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Old December 11th, 2003, 05:15 AM   #19
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Just to be very clear, why are you considering a RAID system
when you don't fully understand what it is? I don't think anybody
who works with only DV would need a RAID system for performance.

Using RAID for safety (as in mirroring or parity) is a whole
different thing and can be very good to have if you don't want
to loose anything.

I'm not sure if there are RAID setup for firewire yet. BUT,
perhaps you can get it to work with software RAID in Windows
XP. Otherwise there are IDE RAID cards from both Promise
and Adaptec.
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Old December 11th, 2003, 07:49 AM   #20
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<<Just to be very clear, why are you considering a RAID system
when you don't fully understand what it is? I don't think anybody
who works with only DV would need a RAID system for performance.>>


Part of the joy of doing what I'm doing with video is learning. Music and video . . . and learning how to use all of this new stuff. . . is my tension relieving hobby from a tough night's work at an ICU/CCU.

I said that I would "consider" a RAID system, not run out to the store and buy one tomorrow. I'm at least a year or so away from purchasing a new computer system (maybe sooner if I build my own, which I'm also "considering".) In the meanwhile, I am going to happily use my normally very stable and very functional (and aging) computer set up that I now OWN.

And thanks to our little conversation, I'm going to take it upon myself to learn about RAID. The operative word, here, is "learn". To me, "the learning" is an important part of the computer-base audio & video recording/editing world which brings me such joy.

Rob, I do want to thank you for taking the time to provide me with information on RAID. Please be patient with this "student" as he stumbles his way through this wonderful world of video editing.

Peace! :)

Ted
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Old December 11th, 2003, 01:02 PM   #21
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Testing 2 different hard drives (a WD 80GB 8MB cache) versus a Quantum Fireball (20GB, quite old), I saw a 2% difference in rendering Vegas' CC filter. Crippling one of the drives (set it in PIO instead of DMA mode), it took about 2.5X times as long to render.

It seems like a faster hard drive will help very slightly with rendering speeds. I haven't tried other filters where the difference may be a lot less than 2%. My test might have problems since my motherboard is old and might be limiting the speed of the faster drive.

If the hard drive is a bottleneck then performance will be seriously degraded.

RAID- if your motherboard has a built-in RAID controller then it *might* be worth it to use RAID. Buying a RAID controller isn't worth the money. The slight gain in performance will be offset by the unreliability of RAID 0. RAID 0 = more performance, less reliability. RAID 1 = more or less performance, more reliability, less capacity.

Keep in mind that you wouldn't notice a 2% difference in speed. However, if you combine 2% with other improvements then you may notice a very slight improvement in speed.
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Old December 11th, 2003, 06:00 PM   #22
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Thank you!

I want to thank everyone for their input to this thread I started. I'm normally a lurker here. I learn a lot from your collective wisdom. However, every so ofter I post a question or two here. I am never disappointed by the responses.

Peace to you all! :)

Ted
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Old December 23rd, 2003, 07:47 AM   #23
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Hello Folks,

I'm in the research mode myself for a larger faster hard drive. I have an onboard serial ATA connection but don't know much about it. The intel board that i am using has onboard sound, LAN, and IEEE 1394 controllers that have been perfect, if the SATA connection is anything like the rest of the board, using it should be easy. My question is that this thread hasn't discussed SATA much, is it because it's not liked, it's slow, or it's not on your board. Also Does anyone know the speed of SATA and pros/cons of attatching hard drive using SATA.

Thanks
Donny
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Old December 23rd, 2003, 08:25 AM   #24
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Or, it could be that SATA hasn't been discussed because the thread was about external firewire drives.

I'm sure the SATA connections would be fine for adding an internal drive.
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Old December 23rd, 2003, 11:26 AM   #25
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I"m hoping that external SATA drive connections become standard on Laptops.
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